To possess the feel of the blade, one must accustom himself to holding it not too tightly, for a tight grasp renders the hand insensible to a delicate touch, or (pressure) of the adversary’s blade. When one possesses this faculty, the slightest movement of the opponent is easily detected; the glance reads in a flash his designs; the thought, equally prompt, compels judgment to decide immediately what advantage can be derived from his movements and where he can best be invaded; the hand responds with its execution, and rapidity secures the coveted “touch.”
-Maître Louis Rondelle
Rondelle, Louis. (1892). Foil and sabre: a grammar of fencing in detailed lessons for professor and pupil. Boston: Estes and Lauriat.